Attracting & Retaining Talent Within The Mining Sector

Talent Acquisition and Retention once more pushes itself up the list of priorities

Nick Verkerk, General Manager of Beilby Western Australia, reflects on just a few of the attraction and retention considerations resource companies face as the Mining sector picks up speed.

Various reporting and commentaries indicate that at last business confidence is increasing particularly within the mining sector.

The gradual increase and greater degree of consistency within commodity pricing has encouraged the miners to once again explore the potential to expand or open new mines.

Strategic planning is well underway and once again companies are having to review their recruitment plans, their corporate brand, their employee value proposition and their overall ability to attract and retain the right people, in what is becoming an increasingly tight recruitment marketplace.

Everyone has been aware of the relatively high levels of unemployment in the mining sector which has led to the belief there is an abundance of candidates just waiting to apply for the roles you have available. To a degree this has been true with large numbers of applicants pushing themselves forward for whatever roles look slightly attractive to them, however having high volumes of candidates does not equate to having high levels of the ‘right’ candidates. The pool of available high quality ‘right’ candidates has started to shrink rapidly.

With the number of potential projects starting to increase, we are again faced with the reality that companies will actively start to chase the same individuals for same project roles and it is more than likely these individuals are already employed and seemingly happy and secure in their roles.

The requirement for these project start-ups remain the same. Therefore, companies should be asking themselves some fundamental questions such as:

A lot of considerations that require well thought out, cost effective and relatively easily implemented strategies. With potential candidates more than likely to be passive, that is not actively looking to move jobs, then just paying more than their existing employer won’t necessarily be the key to them shifting companies. It can lead to increasing spiralling wage expectations and a lack of loyalty and retention with the workforce being more transitory.

Taking just one consideration, the EVP (Employee Value Proposition) , if you cannot provide a compelling answer to the question ‘why would the best and most capable people choose to work here?’ then a lot of the other considerations become null in void.

Without the right team in place, the likelihood of success is severely curtailed no matter how good the project is. Modelling potential project teams to ensure that all members complement each other goes to the heart of the mine sites activities, and is fundamental to ensuring high levels of productivity and safe mining practices.

If resource companies wait until the hard times are well and truly over, they may lose key members of their team and fail to attract the talented workforce required when the resources cycle lifts. Forward thinking, preparation and planning are critical at this time.

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